The human body has always been a tool of power and differentiation. People used the body as personal wealth without interfering in the fashion field. Fashion begins where the functional use of the body ceases. Fashion begins where humanity emerges from the wild stage of development. Fashion is not body adornment (circumcision, tattoos, or for magical, religious, or hygienic purposes). Fashion begins when all kinds of changes are performed for aesthetic purposes. This then creates a status symbol whose causes are psychological and social (today’s tattooing of body parts, aesthetic changes and enlargement of the lips and breasts, piercing on all parts of the erogenous points on the body).
People use tricks to increase personal attraction. Wild tribes used inserts to enlarge the dimensions of the sexual organ. The nobility in the 17th century wore genital covers over leggings. The masculine appeal of the 60s of the last century was emphasized by tight jeans. All this emphasizes anthropological, sociological and aesthetic aspects. Originally, primitive cultures deformed the female body to emphasize female attractiveness. A 19th century women’s costume created in the countries of Western Europe forced a corset. With this clothing accessory, women frantically narrowed their waists and hips that many women died in childbirth due to pelvic deformity. Corsets and high heels that distort the ankle are more reminiscent of torture devices than fashion accessories. A corset is an item of clothing that shapes the body and conceals body curves. It was used as an outer garment or part of underwear. In Minoan Crete, the oldest corsets were used as part of men’s and women’s clothing.
Faster development of this garment has been going on since the late Middle Ages during the 13th and 14th centuries. By then, a piece of clothing had already been specially tailored. In Italy and Spain, during the 16th century, corset reinforcements with steel reinforcements from 1556 began to be installed in corsets. During the Baroque period, i.e. the 17th century, French fashion introduced the sewing of small pillows into the seams of corsets. The bar reinforcements were made of whale bone. At the end of the 18th century, that is, during the “Rococo” style, which was popular among the nobility of that time, the décolleté stood out and was revealed with a corset. Classicism and empiricism suppress the corset for some time. Since 1810 the corset has been a fashionable garment again. Men and women wear a corset during the reign of Queen Victoria or the Biedermeier period.
.The corset is used for 3 reasons: medical, fashion and fetishistic.
- Using a corset in fashion: The oldest and most common use of a corset is to make the waist slimmer to achieve an hourglass figure. This type of corset use is mostly done by women. This style was most used during the reign of Queen Victoria. A thinner waist then meant a higher social status. The popular hourglass figure of wearing a corset was fashionable for women and men from 1820 to 1850.
- Corsets are worn for medical reasons. It is useful for people who have problems with the spine. This immobilizes and protects the body.
- Corsets are used in fetishistic activities. Some women and men may experience sexual arousal by wearing a tight-fitting corset.
Ordinary corsets are divided into 2 groups: over-bust that go over the chest and under-bust that go below the chest. All anatomically shaped male corsets are of the under-bust type. Corsets are most often made of flexible material. It is stiffened by vertical solid parts. They serve as a skeleton. Steel and herringbone were most commonly used to make skeletons during the 19th century. Today, aluminum and plastic are the most common materials for making skeletons. Corsets usually have a binding on the back. Thus the corset can be continuously tightened to the desired extent. They have a special buckle on the front (busk) which serves for faster and easier removal / insertion of the corset. There is no longer a need to use too long straps for tying. Designers often find inspiration in corsets that they modify in their fashion creations. Current corsets are comfortable and are just an indication of former corsets as they structure the female body without body deformities. They are made of leather, lace, latex or satin.